9 - Wake Up
couple, very much in love, sprawled together in the back seat of an
old jalopy on a deserted dirt road in the isolated back hills east
of Ravenswood, West Virginia. It was a starlit, moonless night in
the spring of 1967, just warm enough so the pair were able to strip
to the buff comfortably.
Things were rather
pleasant on that squeaky back seat until about 10:30 P.M. when a
blinding bluish light poured in through the windows of the parked
“At first, I thought
it was the police,” the young man told me later. “Then we both
felt a funny tingling sensation that scared us half out of our
wits. I jumped up and stared into the light. It wasn’t a
flashlight or spotlight. It was more like a big ball of bluish
fire hovering a couple of feet off the ground directly alongside
the car. There was a funny sound, too, like a low hum.“
His girlfriend screamed,
he reported, and the light seemed to back away slightly while the
humming increased in volume.
“The next thing we
knew,” the young man continued, “it was gone. Just like that. We
jumped into our clothes and got the hell out of there. Another
funny thing, when we got into town it was after 12:30. We
couldn’t figure it out. It seemed like we only looked at that
light for a couple of seconds. But somehow it must have taken
Their first inclination
was to run to the police but they decided against it, since they
weren’t supposed to be on that road doing what they were doing in
the first place.
(“Her old man would’ve killed me!”)
They drove around for several
minutes until their hysteria subsided and then he dropped her off at
The next morning both the boy and the girl woke up to find
themselves heavily “sunburned” from head to foot. The boy’s eyes
were almost swollen shut for two weeks afterward. It was not an easy
matter for them to explain how they managed to get a total, and
quite painful, sunburn at night in the early spring.
Shortly afterward he heard that I was in the area and sought me out
to tell me the story. His skin was still reddish and his eyes were
still bothering him when I met him.
The actinic ray burns were proof of his story. And I knew that UFOs
often zero in on lovers in parked cars. Many—most—of the monster
episodes in my files took place in remote lovers’ lanes. Young love
has to run enough hazards without the fear of a hairy weirdo
hammering on the windshield.
What concerned me was the two-hour tune lapse or spell of lacunal
amnesia which apparently took place. What could have happened to the
pair during that forgotten period?
The phenomenon has an almost pornographic preoccupation with our
mating practices. One of it’s most celebrated games is the
manipulation of romantic relationships. Early investigators of the
fairy episodes, such as novelist Sir Walter Scott, noted that
fairies seemed to delight in bringing people together and fostering
love, or, conversely, indulging in conspiracies to force lovers
The Bell witch of
Tennessee is supposed to have manipulated the love life of a Bell
daughter, almost tragically. Brad Steiger, one of America’s
best-known investigators of the paranormal, has been involved in
several poltergeist cases in which the mischievous poltergeists
tried to wreck romances and marriages.
Nothing can quite affect a new groom’s virility like being
physically hurled from his wedding bed by an unseen force and pelted
with flying ashtrays thrown by invisible hands. Unbelievable though
it may seem, such things do happen.
Brad Steiger, Haunted
Lovers (New York: Dell, 1971)
Flying saucer contactees often have their marriages disrupted, even
destroyed, after they begin their liaisons with the space people.
And there are many cases in which flying saucer enthusiasts have
been brought together—literally hurled together—through their mutual
Could it be that some people are programmed to love by this
A public relations officer for the United Nations, Donald Estrella,
accompanied me on one of my trips to West Virginia in 1967. In those
days the UN was keenly interested in the UFO enigma. Mr. U Thant,
then secretary general of the organization, held private meetings
with author John Fuller and Dr. J. Allen Hynek, two leading UFO
authorities. The late Drew Pearson created a sensation when he
revealed that Mr. Thant regarded flying saucers as second in
importance after the war in Vietnam. (Thant later denied the Pearson
When Don Estrella saw all the bizarre things I was investigating,
things which—to his surprise—seemed to have little relevance to
wonderful spaceships from another planet, he told me about three
unrelated events that had happened to him over a span of several
“Seven or eight
years ago,” he said, “I was taking a vacation trip with four
friends through the New England states. We were riding in a
high-powered car along a deserted country road somewhere in New
Hampshire, I believe. We were going quite fast when suddenly we
hit something. This was in broad daylight and it was as if we
suddenly crashed into an invisible brick wall. The whole front
of the car was smashed in. Luckily, none of us were hurt but we
were a bit stunned. We got out and looked around. There was
absolutely nothing on the road. We never could figure out what
Experience had taught me
that paranormal events are often interlaced with puzzling yet
seemingly normal things like strange phone calls. Had he ever
received any odd calls?
“There was one
thing,” he said slowly. “About five years ago I took a train out
to see a friend of mine on Long Island and when I got there he
accused me of playing a hoax on him. He said he’d received a
phone call about half an hour before I arrived. A voice that
sounded very distant had said, ‘Hello, Don.’ My friend told him
that I hadn’t arrived yet. The voice then began to recite a
series of numbers meaninglessly. My friend thought it was some
kind of gag and hung up.“
Finally I asked him if
he had ever had any really odd encounters with peculiar strangers.
He looked at me bewildered and astonished.
“There’s one that’s
always bothered me. It happened around the time of that phone
call thing. One night when I was walking home to my apartment I
became aware of a man following me. When I looked at him, he
stopped and grinned at me ... but there was an air of evil about
him. I can’t pinpoint it exactly.“
“Was he possibly same kind of sex deviate?” I suggested.
“No ... I don’t think so. He was short and slight, and wore a
black coat and black trousers. His face was dark and
foreign-looking. I don’t know why, but that evil grin is burned
into my memory.“
Don said he hurried into
his apartment and never saw the man again. A mere chance encounter
on a busy New York street. Perhaps.
The foolishly grinning man is a staple item in psychic lore.
Black-suited with a dark complexion and craggy foreign face, he has
been described to me in many places by many people.
As for strange phone calls, I have investigated so many that I am
now practically a telephone engineer. They are hard to nail down
because there are so many cranks, hoaxers, and “phone phreaks” out
there today. But the calls that interest me most fall into patterns
that exclude natural explanations.
At 8 A.M. on March 24, 1961, two women in Prospect, Oregon, a town
of about three hundred people, were talking together on the phone
when suddenly a strange man’s voice broke into the line and snapped,
“Wake up down there!” One of the ladies regarded this as an affront
and she proceeded to express a very strong opinion. The voice
started to rattle on in a rapid-fire language that sounded like
Spanish but the line seemed to be dead. The two women could not hear
each other. After the man suddenly stopped, the line became live
The next day, at the same hour, the women were on the phone again,
and again the strange voice interrupted with, “Wake up down there!“
This time the women listened quietly as the voice said something in
the foreign language, and then it recited the numbers forty and
twenty-five over and over. No one in Prospect spoke Spanish. There
was no accounting for the incident.
Voices counting off meaningless numbers also cut in on TV reception
in UFO flap areas. Usually people who experience this sort of thing
dismiss it as police calls or the work of some Ham radio operator.
They don’t realize that TV sound is broadcast on FM channels
reserved for the purpose and there is little chance that a shortwave
or CB (Citizen’s Band) transmission could interfere.
But the phenomenon is not always restricted to electrical apparatus.
After I published a couple of pieces about it I received dozens of
letters from people throughout the country recounting their own
experiences. To my surprise, most of these people had heard the
voices late at night, usually waking them up with a sharp command.
For example, a man in the Southwest claimed he had been jarred awake
on several different nights by the sound of a deep male voice
“Wake up, number
491!” A woman in Ohio heard the voice while driving, “873....
You are 873.” And another woman in Kansas wrote, “Please tell me
who these people are that keep reading numbers to me. They sound
as if they are standing right next to me but there is no one
Do we all have a number
tattooed in our brains? Hardly. There are three billion people so
some of them should be numbered 2,834,689,357. But all of the
numbers that have come to my attention contain only two or three
Another version of this phenomenon are the Morse code-like beeps
that blast out of car radios, telephones, and TV sets when UFOs are
active. On January 31, 1968, a woman in California called me long
distance to tell me of a string of unusual events around her home.
Her phone was “going crazy,” the house lights were flashing on and
off periodically and the electricians couldn’t find the source of
the problem, and other weird things were happening.
As she talked I
recognized certain patterns which suggested that a repeatable
experiment might be possible. So I gave her some advice which would
have sounded insane to anyone overhearing the conversation. I
instructed her to go outside at exactly 9 P.M. that night with a
flashlight and if she saw anything in the sky to signal to it.
The next day she called me back excitedly. Her husband, who had been
skeptical of the whole UFO business, had been converted, she
announced, with delight. She had followed my instructions and, sure
enough, at 9 P.M. that night a large orange sphere appeared directly
over her home. She flashed the light three times but there was no
response from the object. After a few moments it scurried off. She
and her husband re-entered the house where the television was on. As
soon as they entered the living room three loud, very loud beeps
shot out of the TV set. Her husband was completely flabbergasted.
I have given the same crazy advice to other UFO sighters, always
with similar results. Sometimes after watching an object their
telephones will suddenly ring ... and there will be no one on the
Or their doorbells will
ring by themselves.
Obviously these things are manifestations within the
electro-magnetic (EM) spectrum. The voices, however, seem to come
from a more mysterious super-spectrum.
In hypnosis there is a simple technique called post-hypnotic
suggestion. The hypnotist can tell his subject that fifteen minutes
after he comes out of his trance he will suddenly feel an impulse to
climb up on a chair and crow like a rooster. When the subject is
brought out of his trance he behaves normally for fifteen minutes,
then he suddenly climbs onto a chair and crows. He can’t explain why
he did it. It seemed like a rational action at the moment.
There is a kind of post-hypnotic suggestion involved in many UFO and
psychic incidents. The witness is driving along a road late at
night. He hears a beeping sound and lapses into a trance ... as if
he had been preconditioned to lose consciousness at the sound of the
beep. Later, he awakes to the sound of another series of beeps. Now
he finds he is some distance from his original point and he’s
baffled about what happened in the intervening minutes— or hours—for
he can’t remember a thing.
Several variations of this hypnosis-inducing tactic occur. Some
witnesses see an approaching aerial object with numbers clearly
marked on it. As they study the numbers they lapse into a trance. In
some cases, ancient lettering like Greek or Chinese appears on the
object. The effect is the same.
Months, even years,
later the same percipient may again see the same numbers or letters
on an object, or even on a set of license plates or a sign, and
again falls into a deep trance.
The U.S. Air
Force and the CIA were blamed for the many weird telephone problems
that plagued the tiny bands of UFO investigators around the country
in the 1960s. They were convinced that the government was out to get
them. But these things have been happening from the earliest days of
the modern UFO age when, in June 1947, before the air force or the
CIA were even committed to UFO investigation, pilot Kenneth Arnold
was checking into the Maury Island sightings in Tacoma.
He and a fellow pilot
ran their investigation from a hotel and some unidentified person
repeatedly called the local newspapers and told reporters everything
that was transpiring in that hotel room. Arnold tore the place apart
looking for hidden microphones, but there didn’t seem to be any.
The official air force report on the sighting of a Florida
scoutmaster, Sonny Desvergers, in 1952, states:
“Captain Corney [an
air force intelligence officer] was asked about the facts of
supposedly anonymous threatening telephone calls that Mr.
Desvergers had received. He stated that Desvergers had called
him approximately two weeks ago and stated that he had been
receiving anonymous threatening telephone calls while at work in
the establishment in which he is employed. The gist of the calls
were threats telling Desvergers to lay off of his story and that
if he didn’t he would be sorry and several other things.“
Witnesses to landings
and low-level overflights are often singled out for harassment, even
when they don’t report their sightings. Publicized contactees like
Woodrow Derenberger receive the full treatment.
Like many sincere contactees, Woody decided to write a book about
his experiences and, like most contactees, ended up paying for the
cost of printing himself. Contactee books, and there are hundreds of
them, have a very limited fringe market of only two or three
thousand people, so Madison Avenue publishers understandably give
them short shrift In Woody’s little effort he stated: (2)
Woodrow W. Derenberger, with Harold W. Hubbard, Visitors from
Lanulos (New York: Vantage Press, 1971).
As I write this book, I keep getting phone calls warning me to stop.
They have even called my wife at her place of employment, telling
her to stop me or they will. These people have also called my
friends making the same threat. I have no way of knowing who these
people are, yet they are calling too often to be crank calls.
Several times I have
written material that has disappeared from my home.
When I leave home for
any reason, I always lock all doors and windows, yet several times
when we returned home, we found our home had been ransacked, drawers
pulled out, papers strewn all over the floor, and valuable tapes
missing, and my tape recorder broken. ... I have mailed letters,
dropped personally by me in the Post Office letter box, that have
failed to reach their destination.
After Woody’s contact became widely known, two gentlemen dropped
into the appliance store where he worked and walked directly up to
“We think you know
who we are, Mr. Derenberger,” they said flatly. “We’d advise you
to forget all about what you’ve seen.“
They left as abruptly as
they’d arrived. Woody described them as being short, stocky, dressed
in black suits, and having olive complexions. For some reason he
concluded the Men in Black were really from the Mafia.
No matter where he moved—and he moved several times in 1967—the
phone pranksters and black Cadillacs managed to find him, he claims.
Meanwhile, his pretty young wife and their two children also met
Indrid Cold and his colleagues from the planet Lanulos. Mrs.
Derenberger was frightened of them and felt they were engaged in
something evil. They were just like us, she told me, traveled about
in ordinary automobiles, and were probably infiltrating the human
race in large numbers.
Woodrow Derenberger’s story troubled me from the outset, and for
many reasons. It did not fit the mold of the usual UFO contact tale.
While the telepathy element was common enough, the total physicality
of his experiences seemed too real. They defied easy classification
and would not fit into any of the pigeonholes I had constructed.
Either he was the world’s most convincing liar, and had somehow
trained his wife, children, and friends to back up his lies, or he
had had a very special set of experiences beyond the limits of
By March 1967 the crowds had given up in discouragement and Mr. Cold
was able to safely land his spaceship on Woody’s farm. Woody went
aboard, according to his story, and took a flight all the way to
Brazil and back. The interior of the spaceship was disappointingly
normal, with bunks and equipment of obvious terrestrial manufacture.
Later that year, Derenberger would be flown to Lanulos ... a
pleasant little planet where the people ran around nearly nude. Most
contactees who claim to have visited other planets, and there are
many, usually described a futuristic world. There was something
mundane about Woody’s descriptions of that nudist colony in outer
space. Too mundane.
In his later adventures, Woody usually met the spaceships in some
isolated spot, often near a highway under construction—a seemingly
trivial detail yet one that is most significant. Cold or one of his
partners would pick Woody up in a Volkswagen and drive him to the
His world was now thickly populated with space people named Kemi,
Clinnel, Demo, Ardo, Kletaw, etc. They assumed real personalities
and were very real to him.
But I knew that in most UFO contacts the entities use names adopted
from ancient Greek and from mythology, so I was puzzled by these
“fairy” names. However, many of Woody’s experiences had definite
fairy tale overtones. And two of his friends had a classic fairy
experience. A young man named Jim Hacket, and his cousin Daria
Sartor, were out sky-watching at a place called Bogle Ridge one
night when they saw a group of red, green, and white lights descend
from the sky and drop into a gully close to their position.
A moment later there was
a bright flash and Jim felt his face tingling, like a mild electric
shock. Then he heard voices outside the car ... voices which Daria
could not hear. Suddenly there was a sharp rap on the window,
causing the pair to jump with alarm.
A man holding some kind
of red light stood outside the car and Racket received a mental
message to get out of the car.
“Is she your wife?”
the man asked.
“No, she’s my cousin.“
The man told him to tell
Daria to stay in the car. Then he led young Hacket off into the
darkness. When he returned, his shoes, socks, and watch were
missing. He said the man had taken them. It had been raining and the
ground was muddy so his shoes had been coated with mud and water.
Jim and Daria visited Woody the next day and the contactee
accompanied them to the same spot on Bogle Ridge that night. Indrid
Cold, Karl Ardo, and Demo Hassan were waiting for them. Woody
explained what happened and the spacemen said Hacket had encountered
“humanoids” who were no-good thieves. He was lucky he had lost only
his shoes, socks, and watch. But they would run the culprits down
and recover the items, they promised.
The next morning when Jim stepped out his door to pick up his
morning paper he was surprised to find his shoes, now neatly shined,
sitting on the step with the laundered socks and the watch inside.
The contactee lore is filled with silly episodes like this. The
entities serve as good guys and bad guys alternately. Phantom
muggers can materialize out of the darkness and attack the contactee
with baseball bats, only to be thwarted by the sudden arrival of the
good guys who beat them up and cart off their carcasses—and the
baseball bats and any other evidence.
Many of our black-suited
“Silencers” are engaged in similar games.
was lucky. He only lost his shoes. Elsewhere throughout the Ohio
River valley, dogs, cows, and horses were dying suddenly and
mysteriously, usually from surgical-like incisions in their throats.
Animal disappearances and deaths go hand in hand with the UFO
phenomenon. The most puzzling aspect of these deaths is the absence
of blood. Often the carcasses seem drained of all blood. The wounds
don’t bleed. No blood is in evidence in the grass or dirt where the
Among my grimmer memories of 1966-67 are those times when I knelt in
farm fields to examine dead animals, particularly dogs, who had
suffered amazingly clean and expert cuts. These deaths were not
localized, but came in nationwide waves simultaneously with UFO
waves. This pattern has been repeated since.
Prior to the October
1973 flying saucer flap there was an epidemic of animal deaths
throughout the Midwest from Minnesota to Mississippi, causing quite
a stir in the local press.
confounding investigators have been the absence of blood and
footprints,” the Kansas City Times reported, December 22, 1973.
“Even on warm days, with the carcass freshly killed, there has
been no bleeding on or around the animal. Some believed the
cattle were drained of blood. No human tracks have been detected
near each mutilation, even in fresh snow.“
In December 1973 and
January 1974 there were wholesale disappearances of pet dogs from
Connecticut to California. Small towns like Voluntown, Connecticut,
lost a large part of their dog population in a few days. Fifteen
dogs vanished from Woodstock, New York, in the Catskill Mountains
during the same period. As in previous waves of animal mutilations
and disappearances, authorities tried to blame witchcraft cults,
cattle rustlers, and dognapers, who sell the poor animals to
hospitals for experimental purposes. But the total absence of
evidence of any kind seems to rule out these conventional
Europe has been plagued with phantom animal killers for generations.
Sweden had a plague of this sort of thing in 1972. The extensive
vampire legends of Middle Europe were undoubtedly based on such
incidents. Vampires were cloaked beings, often accompanied by
strange aerial lights, who could paralyze humans and animals in
their tracks. As recently as twenty years ago there were a series of
“vampire” killings in Yugoslavia.
Four bloodless human
bodies were found with slashed throats in a field near Klek
Mountain, according to one report.
As I have noted, UFOs, hairy monsters, and Mothmen all appear to
have the ability to ferret out human females during their menstrual
period. I began to seriously wonder if blood and flesh were not
vital ingredients in the mysterious transmogrification process. Did
energies from the super-spectrum need earthly biological materials to
construct temporary entities? It does seem as if many UFO and
monster sightings are staged as distractions, luring crowds of
people to places like -the TNT area while animal mutilations and
disappearances are taking place almost unnoticed only a few miles
Soon after the Mothman’s first appearance in November 1966, police
found the body of a dog in the TNT area. It was completely charred,
yet the surrounding area was un-burned. I wondered if it might not
have been sacrificed in some secret magical ritual by some unknown
local warlock: a ritual that brought Mothman into being?
The UFO waves of the 1960s were accompanied by the occult
explosion—the rapid spread of witchcraft and magical practices. An
interesting side effect of the flying saucer phenomenon is that many
of the people attracted to the subject, people with very
materialistic and pseudo-scientific outlooks, gradually drift into
the study of psychic phenomena, abandoning the extraterrestrial
theory along the way. In retrospect, flying saucers were partly
responsible for the occult explosion.
The most confusing feature of the phenomenon is its use of
allegorical situations and complicated diversions meant to cover up
some more covert activity. Hairy monsters are seen carrying dead
dogs, so people assume other missing dogs provided dinner for the
smelly apparition. Actually the dogs may have served some other
purpose altogether ... a purpose that might turn our hair gray
instantly if we knew the full details.
In messages passed along to Italian contactee Eugenio Siragusa, the
mischievous entities have tried to explain their “volumetric logic”
in cosmic double-talk. Dr. Jacques Vallee has called it “metalogic,”
suggesting that the entities have a logic system quite different
from ours and when they try to translate things on our level their
statements come out absurd.
He does not consider
their need for deceit which is based upon their urge to manipulate
us through beliefs and what the British call “acceptances.” Once
Woodrow Derenberger accepted Indrid Cold’s existence, and the
existence of Lanulos, his view of reality could be manipulated to
include those beings and places.
In March 1967, a truly astonishing UFO “attack” took place in West
Virginia, apparently supporting the vampiric theories I was
entertaining at the time. While other UFO investigators had been
collecting endless descriptions of things seen in the sky, I was out
examining dead animals in remote fields, pondering the real meaning
behind the bloodless carcasses.
On the night of March 5, a Red Cross Bloodmobile was traveling along
Route 2, which runs parallel to the Ohio River. Beau Shertzer,
twenty-one, and a young nurse had been out all day collecting human
blood and now they were heading back to Huntington, West Virginia,
with a van filled with fresh blood. The road was dark and cold and
there was very little traffic. As they moved along a particularly
deserted stretch, there was a flash in the woods on a nearby hill
and a large white glow appeared.
It rose slowly into the
air and flew straight for their vehicle.
“My God! What is
it?” the nurse cried.
“I’m not going to stick around to find out,” Shertzer answered,
pushing his foot down on the gas.
The object effortlessly
swooped over the van and stayed with it. Shertzer rolled down his
window and looked up. He was horrified to see some kind of arm or
extension being lowered from the luminous thing cruising only a few
feet above the Bloodmobile.
“It’s trying to get
us!” the nurse yelled, watching another arm reach down on her
It looked as if the
flying object was trying to wrap a pincers-like device around the
vehicle. Shertzer poured on the horses but the object kept pace with
them easily. Apparently they were saved by the sudden appearance of
headlights from approaching traffic. As the other cars neared, the
object retracted the arms and hastily flew off.
Both young people rushed to the police in a state of hysteria. The
incident was mentioned briefly on a radio newscast that night but
was not picked up by the newspapers.
In cases like this we have to ask: Did the UFO really intend to
carry off the Bloodmobile? Or was it all a sham to “prove” the UFO’s
interest in blood. Later I tried to check to find out if any
Bloodmobiles had actually vanished anywhere. The Red Cross thought I
was a bit nuts.
But I often found myself seriously wondering if we only hear about
the people who get away!
A few nights after the remarkable Bloodmobile incident, Point
Pleasant police officer Harold Harmon was making a routine patrol
through the dismal, unlit TNT area when a dark object hovering a few
feet above a small pond caught his eye.
“It was definitely a
solid machine of some kind,” he told me later. “I could even see
what appeared to be windows in it. It rocked unevenly like a
boat hitting waves, and then it floated silently away over the
Another nationwide UFO
wave was underway that March, but the now-jaded national news media
Scientists from the newly commissioned Colorado University UFO
project trotted around the country trying to investigate new reports
while the project’s head, Dr. Edward U. Condon, complained that it
was like a fire department that answered only false alarms. That
spring some of the scientists spent weeks in the Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, area observing the “meandering nocturnal lights” that
busied themselves there nightly. Their learned conclusion was that
the Pennsylvanian skies were “most remarkable.“
Ships in the Atlantic were reporting huge luminous “cigars”
discharging small globes of light which sailed toward New York and
Long Island. And on Long Island and neighboring Connecticut, those
globes were cutting nightly capers. During my frequent treks out to
Long Island, I saw several of the objects myself and I collected
some eyewitness testimony that boggled my already much-boggled mind.
One family of seven
people swore they had seen a circular object land near a wooded area
on Long Island. They stopped their car to watch and were astonished
when they saw two figures, normal-human-sized beings, exit through a
door in the object as a large black car crossed the field and
stopped nearby. The two beings got into the car and it drove off.
The object took off
quickly and disappeared into the night sky. Similar incidents had
been reported in South America, France, and England, but this was
the first time I had come across one in the United States. The
family was terrified. They knew they should report it to someone but
they kept silent until they heard me on a radio program a few days
Meanwhile, the Ohio valley was lit up by these things nightly, from
Cairo, Illinois, in the south, where the Ohio River linked with the
Mississippi, to the northernmost tip of the river in Pennsylvania.
On March 12, 1967, a woman in Letart Falls, Ohio, was driving home
from church at 11:30 P.M., accompanied by her twenty-year-old
daughter, when, as they rounded a corner in a wooded area, a huge
white thing appeared directly in front of their car. They said it
had curved wings about ten feet wide. There was a head on the
creature and it appeared to have very long hair.
It was in view of their
headlights for several seconds before it flew upward and vanished
from sight. The witnesses were very religious and assumed they had
seen an angel, or even Jesus Christ himself. After their sighting
their telephone went haywire and their television was suddenly
subjected to heavy interference. I found a number of UFOs had been
seen in the Letart Falls area, with concentrations around a large
gravel pit there.
Sightings in the Northeast were keeping me busy at that time. But I
talked with Mary Hyre frequently. She was receiving more UFO reports
than she could print and some other strange things were happening in
Point Pleasant. Three very tall, dark-complexioned (not Negroid) men
were causing the local police some consternation.
These men knocked on
doors late at night, purportedly selling magazines though we
couldn’t find anyone who had ordered subscriptions from them. They
spoke fluent, unaccented English and were described as
“good-looking” with heavily tanned skin. Their height and broadness
impressed the witnesses the most. Although these men continued to
appear throughout the region for a month, Mrs. Hyre and the police
could not find out where they were staying.
They were always on
foot. Apparently they did not have a car.
Mrs. Mabel McDaniel worked in the local unemployment office on Main
Street in Point Pleasant and during the second week in March a
strange man blundered into the office. He wore a black coat and
black cap and behaved in a most peculiar manner.
“He didn’t look like
a colored person, but still was very dark,” Mrs. McDaniel said,
“and his English was so poor I never did really figure out what
he wanted. His eyes were funny-looking, kind of starey and
glassy. From what I could get from him, he was looking for an
insurance company, only he kept saying he wanted ‘trip
He told her he had also
visited the office of the Messenger (he did not, according to Mary).
He spoke in the garbled, singsong manner of so many of our weirdo
visitors and moved in an unsteady, almost drunken way.
It seemed to me that something phenomenal was building up in the
Point Pleasant area. I decided to shelve my other projects and
return to the Ohio valley. This time I was accompanied by Daniel Drasin, a young movie producer who was planning to do a UFO special
for the Public Broadcasting Laboratories (PBL) of the educational
Don Estrella also asked to go along. Both men
knew very little about the UFO situation at that time, and in
keeping with my habit I told them nothing. I wanted them to see for
themselves the incredible scope and complexity of the thing.
So late that March our little entourage hopped into rented cars and
took off on an eight-hundred-mile journey into the twilight zone.